January 6 hearing will highlight Trump’s campaign to pressure state officials

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Tuesday plans to detail President Donald J. Trump’s personal involvement in a campaign to pressure state officials to overturn the will of voters as well as a daring scheme to come up with fake voter lists in seven states to keep him in power.

At its fourth hearing this month, scheduled for 1 p.m., the committee will seek to demonstrate what has been a repeated point of focus for the panel: that Mr. Trump knew — or should have known — that his lies about a stolen election, and the schemes he was pursuing to stay in office were bogus, but which he pursued anyway.

The committee also plans to highlight, in potentially moving testimony, the vitriol and death threats election workers have endured because of Mr. Trump’s lies.

“We will show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff, a California Democrat and panel member, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We will also again show evidence of what his own lawyers have come to think of this scheme,” he continued. “And we will show brave state officials who stood up and said they would not go along with this plan to either recall the legislatures in session or uncertify the results for Joe Biden.”

Mr. Schiff, who will play a key role in Tuesday’s hearing, told the Los Angeles Times that the panel would release new information about the deep involvement of Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s last chief of staff. Among that evidence, Mr. Schiff said, will be text messages revealing that Mr. Meadows wanted to send autographed “Make America Great Again” hats to people conducting an election audit in Georgia.

The first witness in the hearing will be Rusty Bowers, a Republican who is the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. Mr Bowers withstood the pressure overturn his state’s election of Mr. Trump; Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney; and even Virginia Thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas.

Mr. Bowers will describe the pressure campaign by Mr. Trump and his allies, according to a committee aide. He will also describe the harassment he suffered before and after Jan. 6 and its impact on his family, the aide said.

The panel will then hear testimony from Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State for Georgia, and Gabriel Sterling, Chief Operating Officer of the Secretary of State’s Office, who were pressured to overturn their state’s election results. In a phone call, Mr. Trump urged Mr. Raffensperger to “find” enough votes for him to get the state in his column and vaguely threatened him with “a criminal offence.”

Finally, the committee will hear from Shaye Moss, a Georgian election worker who has been the target of a right-wing smear campaign.

Ms Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, who both processed ballots in Atlanta during the 2020 election for the Fulton County Electoral Board, have filed a libel suit against The Gateway Pundit, a website right-wing conspirator who published dozens of fake stories about them. The articles described the two women as “crooked Democrats” and claimed that they “pulled out suitcases full of ballots and began counting those ballots without election observers in the room.”

Ms Moss and Ms Freeman also sued Mr Giuliani, saying he “bears substantial and disproportionate responsibility for the campaign of partisan smear” they faced.

Investigations by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office found no wrongdoing by the two women.

The campaign to pressure state officials came as the Trump campaign organized fake voter lists in seven swing states won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. The committee and federal prosecutors investigated how those lists were used by Mr. Trump’s allies in an attempt. to disrupt the normal operation of Congressional certification of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

The fourth hearing comes as the committee continues to build its case against Mr. Trump, presenting evidence of how he spread lies about the election results and then raised hundreds of millions of dollars from those lies, and how he tried to stay in power by pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to reject legitimate electoral votes.

A fifth hearing scheduled for Thursday will examine Mr. Trump’s attempts to intervene in the functioning of the Justice Department, including exploring the possibility of firing the acting attorney general for failing to follow through on his plans.

The committee continues to gather evidence during its hearings. The panel recently sent a letter to Ms Thomas, who goes by the nickname Ginni, asking her to interview her about her communications with John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Mr Trump on how to quash the election, and then sought in vain for a pardon.

“We believe you may have information regarding John Eastman’s plans and activities relevant to our investigation,” the panel wrote to Ms. Thomas in a letter obtained by The New York Times.

As the committee explores how Mr. Trump’s lies sparked death threats against election workers, a panel member on Sunday revealed some of the vitriol he had endured. The legislator, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, posted on Twitter a letter that threatened to kill his family.

“This threat that arrived, it was mailed to my house,” Mr. Kinzinger said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding, “We got it a few days ago and it threatens to Execute myself, my wife and 5 month old child.We have never seen or had anything like this.



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